US corn inspections scrape in at 763k mt, China, Japan dominate

US inspected for export came in at 762,937 over the week to December 17, weekly data from the USDA showed Monday...

US inspected for export came in at 762,937 over the week to December 17, weekly data from the USDA showed Monday, right at the bottom end of a range of expectations pitched by analysts.

While activity at the US Gulf dropped off sharply, falling 37% to 344,790 mt, the Pacific Northwest picked up much of the slack, jumping by 81% week-on-week to 251,433 mt – the busiest week on record since the third week of the marketing year.

Analysts had looked for between 750,000 mt to 950,000 mt.

In the Gulf, Japan was the single biggest lifter, accounting for 219,086 mt over the week – almost 64% of the entire volume.

China took another 72,445 mt from the hub, while staple buyer Mexico had a quiet week with just 34,098 mt secured in the Gulf.

China also dominated in the PNW, scooping up 199,477 mt, almost 80% of the volume from the region, while Japan booked another 41,708 mt.

The Lakes also recorded another 17,813 mt heading to North Africa, while the interior market was dominated by Mexico’s 114,520 mt via rail, although Taiwan lifted 24,139 mt from the container market.

The week’s activity takes inspections to date to 12.7 million mt, up 66% on the same point of 2019, but only 19% of the USDA’s predicted 67 million mt.

That suggests a weekly export pace of around 1.5 million mt per week in the remaining 36 weeks of the US marketing year.

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